According to a nationwide questionnaire concerning the employment of foreign workers in nursing care facilities in Japan, over 60% of care facilities are willing to hire international workers. The survey was conducted by Second Lab Inc., which operates a job information site called “co-medical.com“, specializing in the medical and nursing care industry.
The survey reveals that a quarter of these facilities have already hired non-Japanese workers, and another 38% are considering employing workers from overseas in the future. However, it is apparent that over 50% of these facilities are seeking staff with a high level of Japanese, as the ability to read and write nursing care records as well as communicate in Japanese is paramount.
Keeping a record of nursing care is essential for sharing patient information among staff, as well as for making a care plan, which is one of the facility management standards required by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. This is why a lot of the facilities place great importance on reading and writing nursing care records in Japanese.
It is also clear that 43% of the nursing care facilities would prefer to hire foreign nursing care workers who have a permanent resident status, which may be a further barrier to entry.
The driving force behind the trend for hiring international carers is the fact that Japan faces an aging population with a declining birthrate. It is predicted that by 2025, over 30% of the population will be older than 65, and 18% will be over 75 years old. There is widespread concern that a surge in social security for nursing care and healthcare, coupled with a shortage of caregivers, will become a social problem.
Facing the 2025 problem, the Japanese Government have announced a policy which will create a new status of residency for international workers, such as carers, in April 2019. It implies that the demand and expectation for foreign workers will increase further over time.
Moving forward, it is clear that overcoming the hurdle of reading, writing and communicating in Japanese on the job will be the key to a further increase in the employment of international caregivers.